I should've posted Ryota Igarashi's comments hours ago, but alas, I didn't. He sounded pleasant enough, through an interpreter:
Igarashi said that the Mets' long history of employing Japanese players - albeit not a terrifically successful history, as David Waldstein wrote here for The New York Times - helped convince him to come aboard.
"There's no doubt that the Mets are an easier team to join," Igarashi said. " …In a way, the Mets are friendly for Japanese players to join."
He said that he hoped to set up Francisco Rodriguez, although not necessarily in the eighth inning. He added: "Obviously, as a competitor, I've been looking for a team to play for in the World Series. The Mets have been highly competitive."
That had to stroke the Mets' ego slightly, on a day when they yet again kept their fingers crossed that Jason Bay would choose their offer over...well, there don't appear to be any comparable offers out there.
--Through a spokesman, the Mets denied any communication with, and/or interest in, Pedro Martinez. Look, maybe there was some indication at some level concerning a reunion with Pedro, but the Mets, given their health problems last season, aren't about to bring in such a health risk.
--The Yankees did hold a cursory conversation with the Cubs, a few weeks back, in which they asked about the availability of Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, as reported here. But the Yankees would've done that deal only with the Cubs paying some of the freight; Zambrano is owed another $53.75 million through 2012, with a $19.25 million vesting player option attainable for 2013.
And now, with Milton Bradley gone, the Cubs have little incentive to trade Zambrano, anyway, unless they get something of value in return.
--The Nationals signed Jason Marquis, and while the price tag wasn't outrageous, I can't see any Mets fans smacking their heads and saying, "Should've been us." Really, it seems like more Mets fans predicted Marquis, lamentably, as the most exciting name that would actually join the roster this offseason. So...at least the Mets didn't overpay for him.